by George J Elbaum
Boston Latin Academy is an inner-city, co-ed, grades 7-12 public exam school serving nearly 1,770 economically and culturally diverse students: White 29.1%, Hispanic 25.5%, Asian 21%, Black 20.9%, Multi Race 3.2%, Other .3%. The economically disadvantaged student population is 50.94%, and many students speak languages other than English at home. In spite, or perhaps because, of these challenging demographics, the students of Boston Latin Academy (BLA), their parents, and faculty/staff share a commitment to excellence, and BLA’s curriculum has been developed to ensure that all students are well-prepared for success in college, in career, and in life.
The impressive success of this effort is shown by BLA’s GreatSchools ratings of 9/10 in Test Scores and College Readiness.
-Test Scores vs. state averages are: English 76% vs. 53%; Math 80% vs. 50%; Science 47% vs. 38%; Physics 52% vs. 36%.
– College Readiness criteria vs. state averages are: graduation rate 96% vs 89%; average SAT score 1178 vs 1112; and AP course participation 43% vs 20%. A very telling criterium in college readiness is the percent of graduates needing remediation in college: only 2% of Boston Latin graduates require it vs. 24% state average.
BLA has earned a College Success Award – Gold for its track record in helping students enroll and succeed in college in 2019, 2020 and 2020.
My presentation to 137 8th grade students was organized by English teacher Wendy Hale, and it was arranged by Jeff Smith of Facing History and Ourselves. Several other BLA teachers and administrators attended the meeting as well.